Thursday, September 11, 2014

Happy Ethiopian New Year!

Melkam addis amet! Ethiopian kids don their best clothes for Enkutatash where they sing carols to friends and family in exchange for gifts.
To the rest of the world, today is 9/11 aka the day Al-Qaeda terrorists attacked the U.S. But here in Ethiopia, September the 11th, is Meskerem 1 aka Enkutatash, New Year's Day in the Ethiopian Calender (Julian Calendar).

Melkam addis amet! (Happy new year!)

Today marks the beginning of year 2007 in the Ethiopian Calender (E.C.)

Although not quite the New Year's celebration that I imagined, at least here in Dire Dawa, there were no fireworks, raucous parties, the fanfare to greet the new year on the strike of midnight during New Year's Eve, Enkutatash celebrations are more on the day itself, where families and friends gather for a traditional meal, usually with feast favorites doro (chicken) wat or fiyel (goat meat) wat as the main dish, and a coffee ceremony.

A few friends decided to celebrate Enkutatash at a friend's, Konjit's place, where we chipped in for the cost of the traditional meal prepared.

The host, Konjit, cooked the doro wat, where she is now preparing to serve it out.
Best doro wat ever!
Deserves a repeat, best doro wat ever!
It was great, Konjit was very game with hosting us. She even prepared Dire-Dawa-style holiday specials: chat (khat) and sisha (hookah)! And of course, the must-have coffee ceremony.

Chat time!
Dire Dawa style perfect combination!
Andy, Julie and Sandra
It was a very laid back New Year's celebration, very Dire Dawa, with good friends, good conversations, good vibes. This year's gonna be a good year!
Thank you Konjit!

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